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books for a dyslexic reluctant teenage boy

(23 Posts)
susylou Sun 18-Sep-11 22:47:55

Our DS detests virtually all reading unless we do it for him - instructions, anything. If he does find a book he enjoys, all else will go out of the window and then we have to find the series, but they are far and few between. The few exceptions to the ban in the fiction line tend to be amusing, horrid henry, captain underpants when he was younger, then rick riordan. He thinks most adventure stories are silly - sorry, 007 and Alex Rider; doesn't like most fantasy - percy jackson an exception but harry potter, limony snickett etc are out. He loves football and loved having The Bromley Boys read to him. He occasionally likes reading things for ideas - the collected jeremy clarkson columns got a brief look in. He doesn't have much in the way of perseverance, so short chapters are important. He would like the funny bits of Gerald Durrell- eg my family and other animals - but the descriptions are long and lush and he switches off. He's articulate which deceives his teachers, but not me.. Help! I don't really care what he reads as long as he reads.

isitmidnightalready Sun 18-Sep-11 23:45:30

I remember seeimg a film (Sidney Poitier, I think) and he showed his reluctant teenage students porn books to whet their appetite. Not very pc and your lad is a bit young, maybe. Just a thought...... will probably get a good mumsnet hiding for suggesting this!

nickschick Sun 18-Sep-11 23:51:12

Wouldnt magazines be a better approach?

theres lots out there to choose from - football and cars based-if its something he doesnt enjoy then little and often might be the way forward.

cornsillx Sun 18-Sep-11 23:56:05

does he like computer games? What about something like this

tabulahrasa Sun 18-Sep-11 23:59:58

Barrington Stoke publish books designed specially for dyslexic readers - ithey seperate Reading age from actual age, might be worth looking at.

munstersmum Mon 19-Sep-11 10:45:42

Adrian Mole
Holes by Sachar
Curious incident of the dog...

scaevola Mon 19-Sep-11 10:59:44

With apologies for interloping: does anyone know if the Henry Winkler books are good, and what sort of child they appeal to?

madamehooch Mon 19-Sep-11 17:03:45

Some autobiographies are abridged for children. If he likes football, I think Steven Gerrard's biography is one of these - 'Steven Gerrard' My Story - ISBN 9781862304383 - and also Richard Hammond - 'Richard Hammond On the Edge My Story - ISBN 9780753823309. It might be worth giving them a go.

jongleuse Mon 19-Sep-11 23:03:29

Barrington Stoke have some good stuff, e.g. Bali Rai, Andy Stanton. Frank Cottrell Boyce Morris Gleitzman and Louis Sachar. Robert Muchamore? Derek Landy? Darren Shan?

susylou Wed 21-Sep-11 17:16:35

ha! -as he is a great two and a half men fan (we have been deploring Charlie Sheen's sad decline and also ooking at the typecasting of women - although we both support Berta- v useful as a moral study) I can see that in due course he will find his way there in any case...

BCBG Wed 21-Sep-11 17:25:07

As much as possible, use audio-books to encourage concentration and interest....if he is as dyslexic as my dd he just isn't ever going to read much in the conventional sense, and it is better to find a way around the problem than through it, ime!

Awomancalledhorse Wed 21-Sep-11 17:25:57

Would he read graphic novels?
If he shows an interest in superhero or manga films, or you could take him down to a comic book store, see if anything interests him (it's not all Spiderman & Superman, quite a few film/book tie-ins are drawn, and you can get a few 'proper' books in picture form).

If he likes reading for ideas, would things like the New Scientist/other magazines answer/experiment books do? Do Polar Bears get Lonely and How to fossilise your Hamster

susylou Wed 21-Sep-11 17:38:17

Doing a composite response- great ideas here. Thank you all.

Holes he enjoyed - v funny; can;t recall if he's read the curious incident (DH and I have both read it). Adrian Mole we'll try again as he loved the diary of a wimpy kid though he didn;t like AM first time round. The Barrington stokes in general somehow he doesn;t get on with - perhaps because they label you as dyslexic? Robert Muchamore - he's read one or two - sort of - but gets put off by the acronyms (which if you see things back to front must be even more confusing); Darren Shan is usually too long (limited perseverance).

Football magazines indeed - just given up a subscription to Match in favour of a tabloid newspaper but we buy 4/4/2 from time to time (ie virtually every week); and cars - will try to find something where the writing is good and approachable.

The Stephen Gerrard autobiography was a bedtime reading book but I didn't know about Hammond's and will pursue urgently.

He enjoyed the traditional Guinness book of records - at any rate it got flicked through a few times - so will try the gaming one.

We're now trying the kindle approach.

One book I would recommend to everyone is the London Eye Mystery by Siobahn Dowd - key stage 2, I'd guess. Well written and both DH and DS completely gripped, on edge of bed.

A final plea - anyone know of good short stories (Asimov, Woodhouse and Dahl all failed) and good short history books, preferably about 19 century wars or else the fall of Acre (thanks, Assassin's creed)?

Thanks again.

susylou Wed 21-Sep-11 17:46:39

audio books - we use them in the car but must use them in the house too.. yes, good idea, thanks for prompting me again. graphic novels, had only thought of manga (which he says he finds mainly silly) so this is also really useful. The off shoots of the new scientist we have - I enjoy.

I think part of it is disliking books themselves as symbols of failure, frustration and oppression. I feel we need to neutralise that - accept that we may never turn his feelings to positive. and I am completely agnostic about whether he reads fiction or not, given that he watches fiction in a variety of form.

So what I really want is an equivalent of the old Strand magazine coming out weekly with sherlock holmes/alex rider cliff hanging combined with the new scientist, clarkson, hammond, may and football. Anyone got any time to develop it? best seller, bound to be....

psychedelicpants Wed 21-Sep-11 21:43:27

My reluctant-to-read dyslexic son read his first book ever this summer - 'Holes' by Louis Sacher. He was so pleased with himself at reading a full book cover to cover.

He's now reading Robert Muchamore's Cherub series. First book is called 'The Recruit' and thoroughly recommend it. He's on book 2 at the moment 'Class A' and there's a whole series of atleast 12 books so will keep him going for a while.

IHeartKingThistle Wed 21-Sep-11 21:55:05

Oh yes all the boys I teach are loving the Cherub books. Even the cool ones.

susylou Thu 22-Sep-11 22:38:16

IHeart, are there any short stories your boys like? my son's contemporaries have all read so much of what's mentioned above and he needs something to give him face.

IHeartKingThistle Fri 23-Sep-11 19:27:48

Hmm, I'm not aware of any modern ones, although others might be - I guess there's more money in writing an enormous series of books!

Having said that, whenever I get the chance I read classes some of the more appropriate Roald Dahl short stories for older readers. I read 'The Hitchhiker' to my reluctant Year 9s yesterday, and the reaction was 'that's a well cool story'! (It does have pickpocketing and a bit of smoking, oh and breaking the speed limit, but I figure that's tame these days!) I THINK it's in the compilation called 'The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six more', which I loved when I was younger. A bit of retro cool, maybe? grin


tabulahrasa Fri 23-Sep-11 23:19:30

Neil Gaiman - he's got a couple of short story collections, um stephen king's are ok <isn't a stephen king fan, but quite likes his short stories>

ConstantlyCooking Sat 24-Sep-11 11:49:56

Not about books but an SEN teacher I know recommends reading rulers for dyslexics as they help stop the words "jumping". Also if you ask in a good bookshop they might be able to order books printed on cream rather than white paper (black type on white paper encourages jumping letters apparantly). HTH

IndridCold Sat 24-Sep-11 12:36:50

Might be bit old-fashioned but Saki's short stories are great - funny and a bit spooky at times.

susylou Sat 24-Sep-11 15:13:37

great ideas - can't think why I forgot Saki, but didn't know about lots of the others. Will seed slowly, as the temptation is to rush out and hand over lots of books which is quite rightly interpreted as pressure and worse, parental pressure with associated value judgments.

IHeartKingThistle Sat 24-Sep-11 23:20:27

I want to be as lovely and understanding as you when mine are teenagers smile

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